So this is NOT a post about working vs. non working moms. I’m not going to try and be original and re-invent that conversation because it is tired and only starts arguments about what is right for each family and what not. I really believe that you should be able to praise one thing without knocking the other and that is my intention in this here post….Please understand this is written about my personal journey as a mom. Not you or your sisters or aunts and what they have chosen. This is just my experience, not a prescription for a perfect “anything”. Each person needs to decide with the Lord and their husband what is best for their family.
Yesterday I received a compliment and dig, all in the same sentence. I didn’t walk away offended, just more aware of myself, i suppose.
I saw someone that I hadn’t seen or talked to for about 9 months. When I walked up with Miss K in tow (chomping on Chick-Fil-A), we exchanged pleasantries and what not. She proceeded to ask what I was doing, and the conversation went like this:
Her: “So, you quit your job, right?”
Me: “Yea. I quit about 9 months ago.”
Her: “So, are you doing anything?”
Me: “Lots of things!”
Her: “Oh really?? Like what?”
Me: “Just all the things that being a mom has.”
Her: “OH! (Realizing). But you aren’t DOING anything.”
Me: “I stay at home and raise my daughter.”
Her: “That must be nice for you. To be “Just a mom”.”
When she said that, and I truly believe she had no idea that someone could be offended by what she said, I realized that I am 100% ok with being “just a mom”. I also realized there are cycles in motherhood. When you try different things, test out the water and see what you can handle and the purpose for your time as a mother.
I felt like my cycle one started when Miss K was born: I tried working for the first 7 months Miss K was here. I loved my job. I still love that job. I miss it dearly. BUT, I was going nutty. I wanted to be with her. I wanted to be undistracted and I wanted to have less on my plate. I was stressed and overwhelmed. Frazzled. Not giving my job or my child the best of me. I had to quit. So I left my job of 6 years one Sunday. Broke my heart, but had to be done.
Cycle two started about 2 months after I quit: I began to heavily craft and create when Miss K napped and was in bed. It was an outlet for me and one that I needed. I liked to have a therapeutic moment and realized that when I was creating, I was making things that people would buy. I have always, ALWAYS enjoyed the idea of being a small business owner and thought, “I could do this! From home! I’m starting Cherry Tree Lane!” I began making more. I did shows, sold things, made more, got “clients”, filled large orders and got busier. All in a short amount of time. Quickly I saw that I had replaced one job with another. Even though I could have a scheduled largely picked by me, I became preoccupied again with things I now “had” to do because I was being paid. Having a very small business was fun (I learned about tax laws, small business benefits and met some awesome business owners that I loved learning from). I really did enjoy it. I saw how, with the right amount of passion and work ethic, it could really turn into something special. I got a good response. I loved it. However, I became overwhelmed. I was getting alot of work and more shows were coming up. I found that I really couldn’t just do “some” crafting and only exhibit a few things. Crafting is a moving beast and you do need to keep up (if I want to make a “business” of it). I had to stop for the time being.
Cycle Three has been where I am parked for the past 5 months or so. Being “just a mom” has become my focus. That’s it. I do craft occasionally (actually Im working on something right now for a gift that I’m pretty jazzed about), but I came to a conclusion about myself. I’m not a good multi-tasker (and I actually think that the term “multitasking” means doing a bunch of things just “ok”, anyways). I mean, I can bake a cake, change a diaper and make sure the house is clean, of course. What mom can’t? But I can’t juggle, in my mind, the in’s and outs of a thriving business and be the mother I want to be, simultaneously. It’s not in me and I felt for awhile, that I needed to apologize for that. I feel like (and realized during our conversation last night) many people (mothers and non-mothers included) are not “ok” with JUST being a mom. There needs to be something on the side. There has to be something else that defines them. They have to have something else to explain to people or stand on. Something else that keeps them current, creative or relevant. Otherwise, they aren’t “doing” anything.
Obviously, i disagree with this. I don’t feel like I have lost my identity with having a child, although I’m aware there are those that feel that. I feel like my identity was added to and will always be evolving. It will always be changing and maybe my identity will include a small business at some point, but right now it won’t. I am JUST a mom right now. My priority is my family and that is what I can handle right now. I am in the business of raising a child and cooking, cleaning and creating memories is my product, for the time being. And I am no longer going to apologize for that being ok with me. I won’t feel bad because this is what I have chosen and what is best for my kid. I’m sure there are woman that feel I am single handedly turning the clocks back on the feminist movement. That’s fine.
*Do I have other interests? Yes, I do.
*Do I see things down the pipe for Cherry Tree Lane? Of course I do. They will just have to be things that are on my timeline and that will come 2nd, 3rd, 4th to all my other priorities. I may have some small events, do a few things here and there, but it will all be in measure.
*Do I think that mom’s shouldn’t have their own business’? Please don’t assume that–again, this is ME I am talking about, here.
For me, at this “cycle” in my life, being “JUST A MOM” is where I want to be. It is my purpose right now and it is for only a time. All the other pieces will fit in somewhere. Just not all at one time.
*She intended the “just” as a dig. I thought of the “just” as a compliment*